Social Media and Web Manager
The definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary for addiction is a compulsive, uncontrollable dependence on a chemical substance, habit or practice to such a degree that obtaining or ceasing use may cause severe emotional, mental or physiological reactions.
Social media is an entity that’s taken over this generation, myself included. While my title of Social Media Manager is self-explanatory, that doesn’t account for personal experiences.
But, enough about me. The statistics are staggering. Users between the ages of 15-19 use social media an average of three hours a day, while users between the ages of 20-29 spend two hours a day.
It doesn’t help that on average, 1,320 million people are on Facebook, 343 million on Google+, 300 million are on LinkedIn, 271 million are on Twitter and 230 million are on Tumblr every day. While our generation is the most connected, it’s also the loneliest.
Looking at a computer screen doesn’t replace actual face-to-face contact.
18 percent of Facebook users can’t go a few hours without checking it, while 16 percent of users rely on Twitter and Facebook for their morning news, even if they’re not the most reliable.
Not only has social media made us connected to everything and shortened our attention spans, but we’ve become more narcissistic, uploading over five million photos daily to Instagram.
Work ethic also suffers since between 60-80 percent of the time is spent on the Internet at work has nothing to do with work.
An excerpt taken from the journal Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma says researchers asked 20 undergraduate students to fill out a questionnaire that gauged addiction-type symptoms associated with Facebook, including withdrawal, anxiety and conflict over the site. Researchers then used brain imaging to study participants’ brains while they looked at a series of computer images, such as Facebook logos and neutral traffic signs, and pressed (or didn’t press) a button.
“As for their actual brain, the brain scans showed that high-scoring participants experienced greater activation of their amygdala and striatum, the two brain regions involved in impulsive behavior,” Psychological Reports continues. “These patterns are on par with those who are addicted to cocaine.”
While several studies have been conducted, it’s safe to say that an addiction to social media is very much a real thing and the need to unplug is more detrimental for this generation than ever.
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